We’re finally ready to install a new entry door and my husband is thinking about installing one himself. I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, but is it really that difficult?
A: You’re ready to upgrade the entry door for your home to boost curb appeal and increase its value. You may have decided to get your door from a big box home improvement store or maybe you’re thinking of ordering through a professional licensed & bonded home exterior company such as our company, Coastal Windows & Exteriors.
While DIY entry door installation might seem like a great way to save a few dollars, the truth is that you don’t want to cut corners when it comes to your new entry door. There is a lot of skill involved when it comes to entry door installation and improper installation can lead to unnecessary headaches as well as energy loss.
Here are the reasons why DIY door installation isn’t the best idea for the average homeowner:
1. DIY Door Installation Can Lead to Damage
There’s a lot more involved than simply putting a new door on its hinges and calling it a day. It’s important that the door is properly aligned within the frame. Getting the door into place is an art of its own, and taking incorrect steps in this process can lead to damage to the door, the door frame, or even your walls. Two big mistakes we have seen are:
- Not repairing rot properly leading to more damage.
- Not flashing the trim on the outside which prevents water to come behind the trim and ends up damaging your new door; not to mention mold and/or rot down the road.
2. Entry Doors Are Relatively Heavy (and Awkward to Handle)
One of the reasons why DIY door installation is difficult for a lot of homeowners is because entry doors are quite heavy. This is especially the case when you invest in high quality entry doors that are made of fiberglass and contain glass windows along with an energy efficient foam core. You’ll often need an extra set of hands to balance the door and place it at the correct angle for installation. It’s very important to make sure you install the door level or the locking latch won’t line up and you will see gaps at the top or sides of door. This also makes the door not energy-efficient.
3. Bad Installation Results in Lost Energy
If you do manage to get your door installed from start to finish, you’ll need to be sure that it’s installed correctly. It can be difficult to see incorrect door installation with the naked eye. Unfortunately, incorrect installation can cause a lot of headache and hassle in terms of energy loss—resulting in higher energy bills than you had to begin with. If you can see light around your door frames, it’s almost guaranteed that you’re losing energy. If you feel drafts around your newly installed door, that’s another sign you’re losing energy. Doors account for 11% of energy loss in a home so it is very important to make sure they are installed properly with right kind and amount of insulation.
4. Insulation Mishaps We See
Three main insulation issues we see from a DIY door install are:
- Not caulking it properly with the correct kind of caulk. It should be a combination of caulk and sealant.
- Many forget to add window tape down across the bottom seal.
- Getting the correct amount of insulation on the top and sides is crucial. It’s important not to pack it in very tight as the job of fiberglass insulation is to breathe. You also need to make sure you have enough insulation. Finding this proper balance is key!
5. Installing A Plumb Door
When you install your entry door, it’s very important that your door is plumb; meaning perfectly vertical. If your door isn’t plumb inside of the frame and improperly installed, you run the risk of:
- Your door sticking when you open and close it
- Energy loss
- Squeaky and loose hinges
- Uneven flooring, which causes tripping hazards
- Damage to the door or surrounding areas during the installation process
Upgrading a front entry door is one of the best return on investments that a homeowner can opt for. Entry door replacement continues to top the charts year after year on Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value report- as much as 100% or higher ROI for specific types. When you’re ready to install a new front entry door, it’s best to leave it to the pros. If you have questions about entry door installation or you’d like to discuss the best options for doors in Massachusetts or New Hampshire, get in touch at contact
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